Lucy Perkins' infancy had been a happy one. Her parents, Edith and Johnatan, were something quite precious : a love match. Edith was Alice Liddell's daughter. Lucy had not the opportunity to know her well, she had died in Lucy's early childhood. However, Edith liked to talk to her only child of the dead woman. She had danced at a royal ball ! Lucy would have loved to.
Both her parents had doted on her. Her mother had told her about their gift early on. Mr and Mrs Perkins brought their daughter alone when they travelled to Wonderland, maybe twice a week. It was a nice family reunion, one that little Lucy cherished. She made flower crowns with talking flowers, drank -diluted- tea like an adult with the Queen of Hearts, played with butterflies who looked like pieces of toast put together.
Lucy was often sick, though. She spent weeks in her bed, to weak to get up. Sometimes she couldn't even eat. When she would get better, her parents would bring her to Wonderland to cheer her up, her Dad pushing the wheelbarrow they used when the girl was still feeble. She decorated the wheelbarrow with her mother, Edith was a good artist.
The child was quite happy, when her sickness didn't confine her to bed and no stranger was around. People are cruel, she had learnt. They would ask why she was so frail, and so pale, and why was she using a stick when she was. Her father always comforted her after such encounters but Lucy grew up a solitary child.
And then her world collapsed. Her parents were visiting Johnatan's family and there had been a fire. Both her parents died. She was thirteen.
She was entrusted to her Uncle Charles, at whom she stayed at this time. She would have prefered to stay with Uncle Henry, but her younger uncle was in Canada at this time. Charles and his wife were good people. Well, they seemed to be. Actually, they had little patience for their niece's sickness. Their daughter-in-law was worse. She was scared by Lucy's tales of an inexistant world and wasn't to happy to welcome her in the Hargreaves' family home. She insisted for Lucy being married as soon as possible so she could be supported -by someone's else family, mind you-.
Charles Hargreaves' wife, Eliza, herself married at age 15, put a stop to it. However Rosalind was a cunning creature and a beautiful woman. When she convinced her husband and her father-in-law to look for a husband for Lucy, she was sixteen. If it hadn't been for her illness, Lucy would have been thrown in some older man's arms right away. She fell sick and stayed weakened for half a year. They let her recover.
Lucy didn't think many men would want for a wife, knowing her history with illness. It was the way things worked in this world. Some would say it was unfair, and they would be right, certainly. However, Lucy was glad for it. It meant some respite. This, and the war.
Unluckily, she caught the eye of a man some day, and for once he was suitable enough for her uncle and cousin not to refuse him on her behalf right away. Lucy knew that she was doomed then. James was no handsome man, but he was barely thirty and it was not her choice to make.
She was engaged in 1918, at nineteen, and wed not long after. It took her four years to deliver a child, and it was a girl. James Humpfrey and her named their daughter Maggie in memory of James' late mother, Lady Margaret.
At first, James had seemed to be a good man, from a good family. However, he was a gambler and lost a lot of money. He started to drink. The Humpfreys moved to a smaller house. He striked Lucy once. She had to keep her room for days. He apologised profusely, but Lucy became wary of him. As time passed and Lucy didn't provide a male heir, he became more and more violent. Lucy did her best to keep Maggie away from his rooms. The nursemaid was careful to stay out of Mr Humpfrey's way, too. She had sympathy for Lucy, who was struggling with her sickness, her daughter's care and her violent husband.
When Maggie was five, Lucy was reading Through the looking-glass to her and pointing out all the things that were different from the place and people she knew about.
She hadn't come back to Wonderland after her parents' death but she reminded it vividly.
It happened that James had heard her. His vicious heart seized the occasion.
"You look tired, beloved. You sounded quite out of your mind. You don't want your daughter to see you like that, truly. Luckily, I know a place. My friend, Dr Carmichael, would take good care of you."
Fear paralyzed her. Her nerves couldn't bear so much stress.
"But it's true, James ! My mother and my grandmother, may their soul rest in peace, were able to see it too. Mr Dodgson's book describes Wonderland's inhabitants quite well, they -" she said, gripping his hands.
It was her last hope. If he didn't believe her…
"Shush, Lucy dear." he said, patting her hair. "The doctor should be here soon. All those family stories went to your head, beloved. You don't want that for your daughter, do you now ?"
His tone was threatening and sugarcoated and his wife was shivering, tears running down her cheeks.
"Don't take Maggie from me, don't ! Please, James. Please !" she begged.
A discussion with James Humpfrey was all it took for Dr Carmichael to commit Mrs Lucy Humpfrey at St George's Asylum.
"Don't let me here alone ! I am not -" Lucy had begged then, distress written all other her face.
"This is for your own good, love. They have excellent doctors here who will take good care of you." her husband asserted.
Lucy prayed all night for her daughter to be safe and made a decision. It was stated she had an stroke and died soon after her internment. Nobody seemed to know what had happened and unbeknownst of the people attending her funeral, her coffin was empty.
If Alice had been alive, she would have wished for her granddaughter to have find a way to Wonderland, away from the cruel world they were born in.
A year later, the new Lord Humpfrey -his father died a few weeks after his first wife- married a rich American woman, unaware that his daughter was a key to a stunning world.